product knowledge in retail

Whether you implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy or provide work-only tablets, mobile devices allow employees to bring a wealth of information with them wherever they are on the store floor. There can also be associated products that are available at special prices if bought together. The customer will be using it and when you can advise them on this aspect from your own experience you are more able to act as a Trusted Adviser. To succeed, research industry trends and market information, and simply build up your commercial awareness. Having a knowledgeable staff with enhanced product knowledge in retail is essential to providing customers with the information they need to make an educated decision. This will definitely help the customer to feel surer in knowing that … In that case, product knowledge could be the deciding factor that pushes consumers to buy something from your associates. So make sure that you fully understand how your products and services are delivered to your customers if this is an option. Because you have a real understanding of customers and their experience of your offerings, you are able to deal productively with customer problems and issues and guide them effectively to reach a solution. There are a wide range of product knowledge areas that will be instrumental in reaching the ultimate outcome of a transaction. Home » In-House Training » Retail Sales Training » 12 Important Product Knowledge Topics In Retail Sales. You must have all of the areas ready where you are far superior to your competitors to make it a level playing field. We’ve partly explained them already. ), give staff a chance to try them out behind closed doors. That’s just not fair. All of this is really important. We mentioned previously about the importance of understanding about your industry as a whole. Please share. Product Knowledge Retail Line April 13 Property of AIE - No Part May Be Copy or Reproduced. And if there was a safety issue with a car in the past and this has now been fixed, again, you need to know this. What is Product knowledge? You consistently provide extra advice and support to customers to help them make their buying choices, often at increased margins for you. When a customer enters your store, the ultimate goal is to have them make a satisfying and well-informed purchase. Product knowledge in customer service doesn’t mean the salesperson or customer service representative knows everything about a product. Best practices for improving sales execution through product knowledge. If you’re selling pushchairs can you open and close them easily and be able to demonstrate this to the customer? If you want to be a future shop keeper you should be able to connect with your prospective clients. You participate in webinars and attend trade shows voluntarily and you pro-actively liaise with suppliers, manufacturers and service providers. UnderstandinEVOLUTIONg how your products and service have evolved over time is very useful to demonstrate your expertise and build confidence with your customers. What is Product knowledge? Some of the time this knowledge can be gained by attending your internal courses but most of the time it will be down to you to hone and refine your skills. When you understand these properly you can often help the customer to make a good buying choice that they otherwise might miss out on. Customers never want the answer to be: “I don’t know.”. Shifting from a basic retail associate role to a sales specialist or retail sales manager job is a huge step up for your career. Product knowledge is the most important tool for closing sales. Understanding and knowing everything this is to know about your products is only one aspect of selling a product. Good discovery skills are essential if you are to reach the top level of retail sales: being recognised as a trusted advisor by your customers. Maybe a designer who has paired up with a fashion retailer sends out a video message to managers and associates, explaining their latest collection and the materials used, proper ways to care for the garments, and styling tips. Knowledge is power and for retailers, product knowledge can mean more sales. We can develop your retail sales staff and store managers to help them take their game to the next level. They then go back their stores and train their retail sales teams. Benjamin Franklin summed it up when he said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – remember it well throughout your sales career because it’s so important. Product knowledge is the ability to communicate information and answer questions about a product or service. And apart from having a good knowledge of your own organisation, you also need sufficient knowledge about rival companies too, if it’s relevant to what you sell, so you can demonstrate and protect the prestige of yours. It gives them confidence knowing they have something of value to tell the customer. Be up to speed with the latest information about everything because you’ll never know when it will come in handy. You will be regarded by your peers as “the go to” person they come to for help and advice around the products. You can do this because you have gained a deep understanding of what customers really need. Have you ever been a sold a product only to be let down on the delivery? • Pricing structure • Options and styles • Colours or models available • Special manufacturing processes • How to use the product or service • How your customers benefit • The history of the product or service • Product distribution and delivery • Any servicing • Warranty and repair information • Information about your organisation • Any legislation requirements • Information about your competitors • An understanding about your industry and market conditions. The survey functionality can even be used to quiz employees about particular products or promotions. In grocery stores, brands might send a rep to speak directly with customers, like a new meat alternative brand setting up and running a “burger” sampling stand. The first step to building product knowledge is to acknowledge the need for it. Details in these areas can vary by product or service offering, which can make quite a difference to your customers’ ultimate satisfaction. They should also know that factors such as durability, support, and waterproofing are likely more important to the shopper than the color of the shoe or any other aesthetic choices. 71% of shoppers (83% of shoppers aged 18-44) use their mobile devices in-store to research products, prices, and reviews. A product kept in a nice box would definitely catch the attention of the customers. Best practices for improving sales execution through product knowledge. Take this retail quiz and see if you’ve got what it takes or not to rule the retail industry. They don’t need to be an expert, but they should be able to answer basic questions about the product and how it works. So beware! Most retailers train their team to close out the register, stock shelves, and keep the floor clean. And when staff provides enhanced product knowledge, it creates trust and brand loyalty, keeping customers coming back for future shopping needs. Is there a purse the same style and pattern as this bag? Ensuring an excellent customer experience translates into higher sales. Improved product knowledge in retail creates confident store associates, happier staff and ultimately an increase in sales. You need to know all of the options here. By following this process of learning product knowledge, sale associates can raise their level of competence and confidence and consequently increase their sales and grow their ranks of satisfied customers. Ask questions to learn their preferences and needs and then you can focus on the most appropriate items to help the customer decide. Or if certain products were recalled off the shelves because they were faulty – then you need to be in the know. Instead, they should be explaining the benefits of a product. There is no point in re-using the same material twice or giving unnecessary information to those who do not need it. It’s very frustrating isn’t it, and there are many things that can go wrong with this. PWC reports that product knowledge is the most important in-store attribute for 59% of shoppers surveyed: “ [Retailers] need to provide a convenient, frictionless in-store experience, with the added advantage of knowledgeable sales staff who can explain product offerings, the Number One preference of in-store shoppers, ahead of ambience." All of these methods effectively transfer product knowledge to employees, who can then pass that knowledge along to customers. Read on to learn some of the benefits of knowing the products you sell. Why is product knowledge so important? If you know your product inside and out, you are able to give information as needed and the enthusiasm will be organic. And then there’s the distribution and availability of the product or service. This is important for the customers as it is very important for the customer service agents and sales personnel. Vendors whose products are available at your store have a vested interest in driving sales. When the UK financial service industry went down that route they ended up paying out billions in compensation. Here are some of the key benefits of increasing product knowledge among your sales associates. Retailers can also use virtual platforms for trials of prototypes or experimental products and tap into the customer knowledge and experience to develop their product or estimate the market potential. So if you sell a large furniture item for example then you need to know the lead times of delivery – sometimes this can be weeks so you will need to inform the customer of this. If you’re selling designer bags, can you easily demonstrate how to attach the shoulder strap and also the 2 hidden pockets on the inside of the bag? Product knowledge is generally the ability to acquire as much knowledge about a product being sold. Mobile devices also let employees remain up-to-date on any company memos about new products and special promotions involving particular products. A customer comes into a footwear store and explains that they are training for a high-intensity, multi-terrain race. This knowledge will cover how products work, what they are made of, how they are used, ranges and options and limitations versus benefits. Retail sales training contains three different elements. You can take courses and brush up on your knowledge when there is down time in your store. If you sell goods that have warranties, servicing and repairs remember that what you are selling is peace of mind. Understanding the customer’s needs and the store’s products, the associate immediately knows to rule out any dress shoes, sandals, or even basic running shoes. There are a wide range of product knowledge areas that will be instrumental in reaching the ultimate outcome of a transaction. There are some retailers that have a very strong persuasion power that they can convince you to buy something you are sure you did not need. Unearthing Customer Needs During A Retail Sales Interaction. For example, a customer wants to know the dimensions of a product or how fast it will go or how much it will hold. Yet more than 50% of shoppers. Fast-Learning Skills . , managers can keep track of which staff members have or have not yet viewed messages, and all employees can easily share documents and images with their team. It is difficult to effectively sell to a customer if we cannot show how a particular product will address his or her needs. You need to step into the shoes of your customers and understand how they will use the product that you are selling and then show them if they need it. That means many of them are willing to provide demonstrations to your staff and customers. Employees need to understand a product, and effectively communicate its features and benefits to the customer. In order to be a successful salesperson, you need to be confident in your product. Think of product knowledge as a skill to be learned and constantly improved upon rather than an abstract concept. Having a knowledgeable staff with enhanced product knowledge in retail is essential to providing customers with the information they need to make an educated decision. What happens with the delivery of these items? In addition to information about your competitors products, you also need to understand information about your industry as a whole and your competing organisations too. When customers step through the door, they expect a certain level of customer service. Perhaps my favorite bit of Apple Store trivia is that if you walk into an Apple Retail Store first thing in the morning, you’ll notice that all of the MacBook Pro notebooks are positioned at exactly the same angle. You will be secure in your knowledge and your customers will have the confidence they need to be able to buy from you. For example, an organization may … Understanding this and the various terms and arrangements will also enable you to ensure the customer has the right information to make an informed choice, as well as having more confidence in you as a salesperson. For any retailer, it’s the foundation on which your products are sold. A good knowledge of their prices and products will help you to guide and advise your customers about the similarities and the differences of your products. As you have found, this area can embrace a wide range of detail and be the critical differentiator when customers choose who they want to buy from! There’s also the fact that you can ruin any relationships you’ve built up with your customers. This may sound a quite simple topic but you really need to have deep understanding of your product knowledge with regards to what you sell. Salespeople and companies that fail to inform their customers of the full terms risk their future business and at the same time develop a reputation that they cannot be trusted. The display of the products at the retail store must entice the customers. Importance of Product Knowledge. Understand similar and complementary products. The importance of your sales associate’s product knowledge and the in-store experience they provide your customers cannot be understated or overlooked. By making sure your sales staff is well-versed in the features and benefits of your product lines, you can boost the confidence of these key front-line employees. Brush up on your style and fashion sense. It’s not fair to your staff. A really good salesperson with deep product knowledge can help make that connection. When representatives know their stuff, they’ll be able to outline all the key features and highlight the advantages of purchasing a particular product or service. As such, product knowledge in customer service is important because employees shouldn’t just describe products, especially when basic information is easily accessible by looking at an item or reading its packaging. Now let’s take a look at some best practices for putting product knowledge in employees hands: This will cover the features of each of the items in your ranges and will give you the ability to help the customer compare different options properly. Understanding your products' features allows you to present their benefits accurately and persuasively. Take this retail quiz and see if you’ve got what it takes or not to rule the retail industry. Think of product knowledge as a skill to be learned and constantly improved upon rather than an abstract concept. Brands might send a rep to tell your staff about their products during a training session, passing along their knowledge to employees. So let staff take products out for a test run when new items arrive in-store to boost their product knowledge. About Footlogix . If a customer needs something and your associate cannot confidently explain how a product will fit their needs, they’ll likely walk away from the purchase. In retail, that could mean remembering and appreciating repeat customers, forging a local connection with shoppers, putting your product knowledge to good use, and more. The customer is at odds with you and it just feels like you aren't on the same page. Your products may have fixed pricing structures but in many cases there are different options that you need to understand – you will also need to understand any cross and up sell products too and any impacts this has on the price. Increasing your product knowledge and retail sales training techniques will also increase sales. Importance of Product Knowledge. We can deliver the training ourselves in a workshop environment or within your stores. 2. It can be difficult, since many studies have shown that consumers often, believe they are more knowledgeable than store employees, We know customers are using their phones in-store to look up information—level the playing field by equipping your associates with. It’s a product knowledge graph that can answer questions about products and related knowledge in the retail context. This means that product knowledge is crucial to building effective sales and a lack of application of the right pieces of knowledge is frequently the reason people do not buy – and they don’t always tell you why either. It's set to become even more important as customers increase their expectations. Are they opening 3 new stores within 5 miles of your location? Customers are very much influenced by the reputation of the business they are buying from. At the end of the week, reward the employee who demonstrated the most thorough product knowledge and provided the best solution to your hypothetical customer’s needs. You would know about operating systems in computers and phones; sizing and widths, materials and methods of construction in shoes, plus in each case much more information directly relevant to the products. That’s product knowledge. They skirt over the details and seem to rely on appearing knowledgeable rather than really understanding the real information they should be aware of. And in terms of the delivery, you’ll also need to know if the customer will receive a specific time in the day when the item will be delivered or if it will be anytime between 9 and 5 for example. Employees gain a high level understanding of Deli Meats. However, fashion merchandising services also represent a separate economic activity under the Specialized Design Services (code 541490) category. Your staff can learn from them as well, so they can share the same information with customers once the brand rep moves on to a different store. To kick your associates’ product knowledge into high gear, make the learning process a bit more fun. Tangible senses like sound, taste, and feel are difficult to convey and may not be the same for everyone. The merchandiser in coordination with the store manager must ensure that the products are according to the season as well as latest trends. Just remember that in the end, the real winner is always a happy customer. 3 Footlogix Essential Information. If you are relying on this level of knowledge you must do something to change it – it is unprofessional and very risky to attempt to advise customers without a good enough understanding of what they are buying. You must thoroughly understand your terms. Having a deep knowledge of how your products are made and put together can be very helpful. Does this 4 door family car come in a coupe option? Your customer will expect an experience that is free-flowing and completely hassle free and can set you apart from your competitors if you do it right…. Train your associates to, understand the products that they are selling, so that when a customer asks a question about a particular item, employees can answer them accurately and confidently. A really good salesperson with deep product knowledge can help make that connection. If you sell clothes and a customer really likes a dress that you’re selling but you haven’t got it in the ladies size and it’s at the end of the season, then you should know instantly several alternatives that you can offer her straight away. Can they also receive the item quicker if they pay more? An associate’s goal is to provide a positive shopping experience and make a sale, so they have to understand a customer’s needs. It can give you the edge as an expert and also help you to guide the customer. Knowing as much as possible about your products and services is a fundamental part of your role as a Retail sales Professional. Familiarizing your product involves acquiring knowledge about its functions, features, application, support requirements, and anything else that concerns the product. Some brands might also opt to send physical promotional materials to stores and let associates relay additional information to customers. You can point out any special areas of difficulty or general misunderstandings people may have – and when you balance these against the benefits the customer receives you can make more sales, increase trust and improve customer satisfaction. The customer service exhibit a great level of confidence when they talk about the products that are beings sold by the company. The exceptional retailer will be able to train their specialists to be able to engage a shopper and build rapport without waiting for the customer to come to them for the specifics. Increased Confidence. Employees are equipped with an iPhone app that acts as a level to help them achieve this. Train your associates to really understand the products that they are selling, so that when a customer asks a question about a particular item, employees can answer them accurately and confidently. Sometimes, things just aren't going well. It instills faith, trust, and respect in the customer, which creates a positive customer experience. Ask, "Excuse me, but have I done something to offend you?" Yet more than 50% of shoppers still seek expert advice from salespeople in physical stores, so in-store associates need to be able to provide additional information and context about the product to close the sale. And does your company offer an online retail experience too? The word itself defines product knowledge. This is a scalable solution if you have hundreds of retail staff. Below I’ve categorised the product knowledge that you’ll need into 12 main areas. You don’t even need to attend workshop based training to improve your skills because there are a lot of elearning content providers that help. It might seem obvious to know how to use the goods you are selling, but not everyone in sales has this understanding. You don’t want to be selling broadband services and guaranteeing a download speed of 40 meg only to find out that they live in a remote village when the maximum they will receive is 2 meg.

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